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Type: Page by page
Access: Online form
The WAVE is a page-by-page accessibility evaluator by WebAIM. It tests many of the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Errors are highlighted within the page itself.
Tests only one page at a time
Cannot test some checkpoints
Displaying errors as well as other accessibility features inline means that a WAVE output page can be overly complex.
WAVE should only be used when you are testing a small number of pages. You will need to run each page manually. There are four different ways to use WAVE:
Insert the URL of the page you wish to test.
Alternatively you can modify options in the WAVE preferences section . This allows you the option to turn on and off specific features, such as indicating linear reading order, divs and other structural elements.
Enter the file location or select the file you wish to test using the Browse button. Please note that this option will not test the graphics of the page.
When you install the WAVE toolbar in your browser, all you have to do is go to the Web page that you want to evaluate, then click on "WAVE this page!" or type in the Web address of the page you want to view, using the "WAVE a different page" field.
Select the browser you want to install the toolbar in and then select the "Install link".
Once the WAVE toolbar is installed you can just go to a page that you want tested by WAVE and then click on the toolbar.
When you add the WAVE "bookmarklet" to your browser, all you have to do is go to the Web page that you want to evaluate, then click on the bookmarklet to process it through the WAVE.
Select the "Install WAVE bookmarklet" link.
Drag the WAVE bookmarklet: to the bookmark bar.
The WAVE output has four important areas: information about the page tested (1), a link to an explanation of icons used in the output (2), a link to change preferences which will change the number of icons used in the output (3) and the output itself (4).
To interpret a WAVE output you need to understand what all the icons mean. Sometimes it is easier to modify the preferences so that only errors are identified.
The WAVE uses four different types of icons:
For more information on icons, see the WAVE icons and explanations page.
WAVE highlights accessibility features, semantic elements as well as accessibility errors and warnings. The following is a comparison between highlighting warnings and errors versus highlighting all other features, such as accessibility features, semantic and structural elements as well.
The following are failures from random sites.
According to this error, the images on the right are missing ALT attributes.
Test: Display Table Information
All table headers are marked up properly (eg. the code for cell Wed 15 Day 0 is "id=day20060315") and all data cells reference appropriate headers (eg. the headers referenced by the first data cell are "openingceremony" and "day20060315").
All headings are marked up appropriately. Using this test you can determine whether headings have been nested properly.
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